Week that was

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 25 Dec 2005

Compiled by Ivy Soon 

AMENDMENTS PROMISED: (Dec 22) Sections of the controversial Islamic Family law Bill which the Cabinet has acknowledged as being unfair to Muslim women will be amended. The bill was passed, with 12 women Senators voting for it under protest. They has earlier voiced out their objections in a four-hour session. 

UNDER DURESS: (Dec 21) Women senators who have been up in arms against the controversial family law Bill, which they say will lead to erosion of their rights, will have no choice but to vote for it. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz ordered Barisan women senators to do so when the bill came up for debate on Thursday. Women’s groups are against the proposed changes to the Bill which appears to enhance Muslim men’s rights in cases of polygamy and make divorce easier for them.  

FLOODS UP NORTH: (Dec 18) Floods hit four states in the peninsula, with over 9,000 people evacuated and three killed in Kelantan. More than 70% of Perlis has been inundated, making it the worst floods in 20 years. Electricity and water supply to most of the state was also cut off.  

FLOODS WORSEN: (Dec 19) Floods in the northern Malaysian states have worsened, causing extensive damage to padi land and property and forcing more than 20,000 people to flee their homes. The waters disrupted all forms of transport in Perlis and Kedah. An estimated two-thirds of Perlis is under water, and power supply to Kangar has been cut off since Sunday evening. The Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Star has been closed until further notice. The death toll rose to six when the floods claimed three more lives in Terengganu, Perlis and Kelantan.  

MB RESIGNS: (Dec 22) After months of speculation, Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain has resigned as Kedah Mentri Besar. He is succeeded by Datuk Mahdzir Khalid. Syed Razak has been on leave since July due to ill health.  

WORLD'S BEST: (Dec 23) Malaysian squash star Nicol David has been named the World Player of The Year for 2005. Members of the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA) overwhelmingly voted the 22-year-old from Penang for the award. It was the first time an Asian has won the title. 

SEX EDUCATION: (Dec 20) The national guidelines on sexuality education have been finalised and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval by next month. 

Covering six components – human development, relationships, marriage and family, interpersonal skills, sexual health and behaviour, and society and culture – the guidelines are age specific and meant for preschoolers to adults.  

VOTED OUT: (Dec 18) Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and his assemblywoman wife Betty Chew were dealt a severe blow when they were unexpectedly voted out of the Malacca DAP committee. 

Party insiders say it could be the culmination of years of rivalry between former state chief Sim Tong Him and Lim, whose political differences were open secrets.  

ABDUCTION DENIED: (Dec 20) A North Korean diplomat dismissed the possibility that four Malaysian women who disappeared in Singapore in the 1970s were abducted by Pyongyang. 

US Army deserter Charles Robert Jenkins said recently that he saw one of the women while he was living in North Korea.  

CA SIGNED: (Dec 21) More than 36,000 bank employees throughout the country will get a RM200mil bonanza following the conclusion of a collective agreement that had been delayed three years.The staff members from 24 banks will get arrears of between RM4,000 and RM10,000 each. 

MORE CLOUT: (Dec 23) The authorities are seeking more powers for teachers and police to further reduce indiscipline among students both in and out of school. The Education Ministry is proposing that certain laws be reviewed, but stressed that it would be done only as a last resort.  

JAIL SENTENCE: (Dec 17) Water and electricity thieves may face mandatory jail terms as their irresponsible actions have caused huge losses to utility companies. Their theft might have led to innocent consumers paying higher tariff rates.  

FLEET CARD: (Dec 17) A fleet card system for the purchase of subsidised diesel will be introduced soon to curb diesel smuggling and the illegal sale of the fuel. 

UNFAIR BUSINESS: (Dec 17) Only three local bumiputra firms can now supply lights and accessories to contractors of government projects and this has caused uproar in the industry, which sees an annual turnover of RM500mil. About 25 other manufacturers – both bumiputra and non-bumiputra – are upset over this development as they claim to have invested heavily in the industry and stand to lose out.  

APPEAL REJECTED: (Dec 19) Veteran artiste Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar has failed in her High Court appeal to throw out a defamation charge. Sharifah Aini is charged with making defamatory statements against pop queen Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin on Aug 24 last year. She was alleged to have done so by sending an e-mail to Ahmad Shaharil Jamaludin which contained words that could ruin Siti Nurhaliza’s reputation.  

EXPENSIVE ART: (Dec 20) Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) purchase of three paintings worth RM1.55mil became a hot topic in the Dewan Negara. The Senators Club had called for an independent commission to investigate irregularities in MAS.  


DISGRACED SCIENTIST: (Dec 23) South Korea's most famous scientist quit as lecturer in Seoul University, and could face prosecution after investigators said results in a landmark 2005 paper on producing tailored embryonic stem cells were intentionally fabricated. Prof Hwang Woo-suk led the team that created the world’s first cloned dog.  

PILOT JAILED: (Dec 20) A Jakarta court sentenced an off-duty Indonesian pilot to 14 years in jail for planning the murder of top human rights activist, Munir Thalib, during a flight last year. Pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, who has said he was the victim of a conspiracy, screamed his innocence after the verdict was read out.  

ON ALERT: (Dec 17) Australian Police put an extra 500 police on the beaches of Australia's biggest city, taking the total cordon to about 2,000, in a huge security operation to prevent fresh inter-communal violence. 

TWO MORE: (Dec 22) Two more human deaths from bird flu in Indonesia have been confirmed by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Health Ministry official said, bringing total known deaths in the country to 11.  

TORTURE CLAIM: (Dec 21) Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein told his trial he was beaten in US custody and also said those who had tortured Iraqis should be punished for their crimes.  

FIRST PARLIAMENT: (Dec 19) Warlords, former communists, Taliban defectors and women acti- vists were sworn in as members of the first Afghan parliament in over 30 years.  

STRIKE OFF: (Dec 22) New York transit workers on Thursday called off a three-day strike that caused havoc in America's most populous city at the height of the holiday season and which may have cost the economy US$1bil (RM3.8bil). The transport workers’ union voted to end the strike despite not reaching a new contract. 

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